Uptown Tree Trail in Columbus focuses on giving back to the community amid pandemic

Uptown Tree Trail in Columbus focuses on giving back to the community amid pandemic

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The holiday season is all about giving and that’s the idea behind Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to generosity around the globe.

People are encouraged to give to non-profit organizations in order to uplift their own communities.

Christmas lights and ornaments dawn branches of fir trees in Uptown Columbus. The Tree Trail brings the community together each year to not only brighten Broadway, but give back to the community.

“There are lots of people in our very community, in our town, who don’t have as much privileges or resources naturally given to them,” said Anastasia Daniels, a senior at Columbus State University.

Columbus State University’s servant leadership program sells donated Christmas trees to businesses, then gives the money back to a local area in need. This year, that’s the Highland community, including MercyMed, Truth Springs, and Fox Elementary. Tuesday, people came out to decorate their tree and reflect on their efforts this Giving Tuesday.

“That’s what I feel like this is all about, to give back and give back especially with COVID as it has been this year. So, we’re just excited for this opportunity to be able to be apart of something greater than ourselves,” said Haleigh James from ALFA insurance.

“I just really feel like this year, out of all the other years, is the most important one to really focus on giving back to others,” Daniels added.

With the coronavirus pandemic in full force and impacting not only businesses but families too, some thought the tree trail would not have as much success this year. But the organization has already reached its goal of $10,000.

“We want to continue to help our community come out of this ahead,” said Rhonda Eysel from Master Kleen Dry Cleaners.

“It has everything to do with hope for our community, just to support each other, love each other, just giving back and making certain we do as much as possible for our community, for Columbus,” Teen Challenge’s Carol Ridley said.

“Monkey see, monkey do in a sense. If I see someone giving back, I’m going to want to do the same, just giving the next step to the next person,” said Chris Horton from the Lowell Apartments said.

Some businesses came out to claim and decorate their trees Tuesday. Others are expected to come out Wednesday. People said even with all the tragedy this year, giving back this giving Tuesday is what the holiday season is about.

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